With Martin Amis’ Lionel Asbo: State of England — the horrific account of a hard-living career criminal turned celebrity lottery winner — climbing the bestseller charts, Li and his creator shouldn’t be confused. At least, that is according to Amis, who recently told the Spectator that he was never a rebel.
Richard Bradford, author of last year’s universally panned Martin Amis: The Biography had planned on shining a light on Amis’ greener youth. At one point the vexed manuscript apparently included a fond Amis recollection of smoking joints in Picasso’s on the King’s Road, something that would have resulted in arrest in about ten minutes. On another occasion, Tina Brown’s house was the hazy smoking spot before Amis had to point out he’d never been there. For this and other elaborations in the draft, Steerpike hears the wayward biographer blamed a dodgy tape recorder. Johann Hari would be proud…